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Career change - help needed!

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  • Career change - help needed!

    As many of you will have already read in other threads, I've been thinking a lot about making a career change and looking into gaining further qualifications.

    I've come up with teaching as an idea but must admit that after a lot of thought I'm not sure if I do want to do this after all - I'm worried that it's actually too close to what I'm doing now and that what I really need is a complete change of direction.

    I've been having a look through 'jobcentreplus' to see what sort of jobs are out there at the moment and have come up empty handed! I'm struggling to think of what else I would like to do!

    I'm still keen to do an Art related degree, but to do this even part time I would need to be available for 2 days a week, so it would mean combing it with a job and potentially reducing the hours I can work.

    I'm still interested in working with animals - some of you may remember I applied for a kennel assistant job at a local rescue centre towards the end of last year. I lost out to that (only just though!) to someone who had the experience (which I didn't) but it's still something I would like to try. Problem is that jobs in that area are few and far between.

    I've just contacted the centre and volunteered myself to do some dog walking this week, as I'm currently off work. I'm hoping it might give me a better insight.

    To be honest I feel really trapped - I'm in a job I hate and have a house with a big mortgage that we can't afford to pay if I earn less money. I've been wondering today about finding out about changing our mortgage to interest only, to reduce the payments and give me a better chance of changing jobs and studying? I don't really know much about hoe this works though?

    So, my thoughts are: reduce my mortgage, to enable me to change jobs. I'm still not clear as to quite how I go about this though and where to start?

    Sorry to ramble!!! I need some advice though!
    Katian Mosaics

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  • #2
    Teaching would be great, but the study is a long process - but you would probably have good chances of employment after as there is a shortage. My friend is currently in her last year of OU studies for this.

    I am sorry that you hate your job, I know how soul draining it can be, maybe you could consider starting your own business? I know how scary it can be but there are massive benefits too. Like being your own boss and controlling your own destiny.

    I can't offer any advice about the mortgage. But I have an IFA who is also a friend who I use for this sort of financial matters. PM me if you want to have his details, he's lovely and completely no obligation and independent.

    Stay strong, there is always light at the end of the tunnel
    Design, not rocket science. Illustrator, graphic and web designer, mum of two, wife and self-appointed font police.

    Changing the world one crayon at a time.



    • #3
      You remind me of how I was ???... years ago so many things you want to do but not sure which way to go. Not sure if this will help you but did me:

      I got a large notebook (could be on a spread sheet now, but when I did mine still using an abacus, lol) and divided it up into sections eg yours could be Art Degree, Animals etc. Subtitles cost, time, length of course, benefits, potential, earnings. Then research each bit noting what you find. Also include a section for mortgages and the differing types etc. This way you can focus your mind and whilst you may decide on none of these routes keep as you never know what the future may hold.

      Once you have all the info you can then make an informed decision as to the path you take, there is nothing to say that you may complete all of these jobs before retirement just not all now. Make a choice and stick with it, focus on the good and the poitives do a mood board to look at every day as to the good points of your chosen path.

      Re the mortgage I would advise talking to a financial advisor (independant) to find what the best options are, I personally have always had a repayment mortgage and always paid the higher amount even though the interest rates went down, this way we cleared our motgage within 10 years and saved £350K in repayments for interest etc. This is not always possible but we can now live the life we want at 50+, so be careful going for an interest only this may free up funds but it may be better renegotiating your current mortgage.

      Good Luck hope I have not rambled too much.


      • #4
        You do sound in a muddle hun. Okay speaking as a mum with a teenage son my suggestions to him would be:
        Where do you see yourself in 5 years time? If you don't like that picture look for one you do and set yourself on that path.
        Good career prospects at the moment: Probation Officer, they put you through the degree. Social worker, I believe you can also qualify on the job. Police Force, Dog section. Like teaching these are all careers with people shortages.
        With regard to the mortgage I would strongly suggest you see an independant financial adviser, preferably one that someone you know uses. A good one is worth their weight in gold.
        Could you rent out a room in your house to help cover the cost? Perhaps then you could reduce your hours and do the art course. However ultimately could you make a comfortable living out of art once qualified? And if you use your hobby as a career what will you do for a hobby?

        Auntie Di.


        • #5
          Maybe you could get a job as a school technician in the art department. That way you'd get an idea of whether you would like to train to be an art teacher.
          Best wishes


          • #6
            I know if you go into nursing through Uni you get a bursery of £500 p.m. ish and I wonder if there are any other subjects that carry burseries too which you might be interested in?
            God helps them that help themselves.


            • #7
              Thank you everyone for your advice. I think I really do need to write down what my potential options are and look at if / how each would work.

              Di - what you said about thinking about things in 5 years time really hit home. I just thought 'not here!'.

              Re: the Art degree, I'm thinking that I could use it to go into teaching if it's something I still want to do, or I could use the degree for something else if not. Uni's do offer a bursary but the amount you get varies from uni to uni - anything from £300 to £1000 a year I think?
              Katian Mosaics

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              • #8
                What my life has taught me:
                teaching is lovely and rewarding but it's stressful and gobbles up all your free time.

                Having an interest only morgage has been great for meaning we can live within our means but we were counting on house prices rising to pay off the morgage with the profit we made by moving every couple of years and doing the houses up. We have come unstuck. We have hit 60 and with our equity we might be able to buy a caravan on a remote island up north.

                On the animal front my I don't know what to do neice went for a franchise thing that washes and grooms dogs in their homes. I don't know much about it but she's making a living, her customers love her (humans and dogs), her time is her's to organise.

                I don't know whether to say take your time deciding - sounds sensible - but that didn't work for me. I had to have a breakdown to make me change and HAVING to do something put a rocket up me. I did go up a few dead end alleys before I hit on what I'm doing now.......but that wasn't bad. It just added to the list of jobs I knew I didn't want to do.

                Hang on in there


                • #9
                  Originally posted by AnnieAnna View Post
                  What my life has taught me:
                  teaching is lovely and rewarding but it's stressful and gobbles up all your free time.
                  I'd agree with you there!

                  Adding a little magic to your celebrations



                  • #10
                    Carolleecraft's suggestion is a brilliant one and something that I've used before for myself and for past clients. It helps to put everything down in writing with the pros+cons and what is needed to achieve those goals. Also, to generate more ideas take a look through 'Occupations' and 'JobFile' books (if they still do them) at the animal related and teaching jobs - then look at the jobs they list as 'related' and then from those jobs look again at the 'related' jobs, it often helps to come up with some job ideas that might suit you but you hadn't initially thought about.

                    If you're not enjoying your current job then personally I'd avoid the probation service and social work - probably don't need to say why.

                    Someone mentioned there are burseries for nursing but there's also burseries for other NHS related degrees such as radiography, I couldn't do it cos I'm not good around ill people and hospitals.

                    And I think you've found the section on the directgov website which has all the details about funding for HE but if you've lost it just give me a shout.

                    And finally (you know you can't shut me up on this kind of topic) the report that was published last week by Alan Milburn on Access to the Professions recomended breaking up the Connexions service so if it's implemented everything could change at work in the next few years anyway (take a look on the ICG website for more info).

                    Oh and as for the mortgage thing, agree with the others who say talk to an IFA as that is a massive decision to make.

                    Good luck
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                    • #11
                      I know how you feel as I put on one of your previous threads you have made me reconsider what I am currently doing and what I want to do and am in a similar situation in that I cannot just up and do it cos of the financial commitments.
                      I am trying to get a few weeks experience of teaching to help make my decision. If you have now done that and reconsidered that its not what you want you are at least moving forwards! Its a huge decision and making a list will help to focus your mind.
                      Re the mortgage, as a financial adviser myself - albeit for a bank now I was previously independent - its a really tough decision to make. I dont generally advise on mortgages (investments and protection mostly) but obviously have a good understanding.
                      If you go onto interest only now it will of course mean that you have more money each month and I dont mind admitting that I have put our mortgage onto interest only for a couple of years whilst the boys are at nursery and we are having to pay fees in excess of £1200 each month for them! We have always planned to do this and will go back to repayment as soon as they are both at school making overpayments each month then to compensate for the years we have paid the lower payments. If you felt that you will be in a position to make higher payments once you have finished retraining etc then this could be an option for you but you need to make sure that you will be committed to this afterwards and it will obviously mean that overall you have paid a higher amount in interest during the course of your mortgage.
                      The other option is to change the period of your mortgage to a longer term now to reduce the payments but this really is prolonging the agony of paying off the thing and means that effectively the fun years where it is no longer a financial burden will be further away. Lastly I dont know your financial circumstances but you could look at moving your mortgage to another provider if they offer lower interest rates than where you are but deals are few and far between at the moment unless you have a lot of equity in your property and there maybe considerable fees involved in doing this so look carefully at the details first.
                      Whatever you decide to do after you have spent time weighing up the situation and are sure about it dont then spend your life questioning it and regretting it, life is too short and we need to enjoy it as much as possible!!!
                      Last edited by Meljov5; 29-07-2009, 04:20 PM. Reason: blanked out a word I used although I have no idea why!!It was not rude!!!


                      • #12
                        Thanks everyone for the advice. I have started writing things down, including figures to see how it all stacks up.

                        I spent yesterday afternoon volunteering at the rescue centre I applied to last year. The weather was awful, I got soaked through to the skin, covered in mud and I stank by the time I left but I loved it! It was so different from what I usually do, it was refreshing. No vacancies though and they very rarely come up, so for now I'll keep volunteering whenever I can.

                        At the moment I wish I could just run away to be perfectly honest! My head is swimming with all the different thoughts running through it. I'm worried that I'm gradually getting back to the point I was at in November last year, as I'm now getting to the point where I feel sick at the thought of going back to work on Monday. It's an awful feeling as I know what's making me feel this way but I don't feel like I have any control over it.
                        Katian Mosaics

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